More to Stream…

You may have noticed that streaming video compatibility was added to our OverDrive site this week. Over 400 of our OverDrive videos are now available to stream.

overdrive streaming video

The best part about this change is that streaming video is compatible with many more devices than its predecessor, WMV. The streaming format will work in any web browser with HTML5 support (most major browsers). In addition, patrons using the latest version of the OverDrive app will see the option to stream their video within the app, making OverDrive video compatible with most mobile devices.

Browsing, searching, and borrowing will all remain the same.

The OverDrive help pages offer more information about getting started with streaming video.

It is important to remind patrons that streaming video is likely to consume a lot of data, so they may want to be connected to wifi when streaming. (And don’t forget to recommend Hoopla to anyone looking for a  larger selection of streaming – and downloadble! – video.)

The introduction of streaming video is good news for device compatibility, but it also means that the WMV format will soon be eliminated. In addition to WMV, OverDrive plans to sunset the WMA format. Starting on March 3, 2015 only streaming video and MP3 audiobooks will be available in OverDrive. The Digital Resources Committee will be discussing what this means for our patrons and our collections at our upcoming meeting on February 3rd. We’ll be sure to share important information about this topic in a future post.

Charmaine (CLP)

Continue ReadingMore to Stream…

Playlists made simple…

When touting our digital resources to patrons, Freegal is one of the easiest to get excited about. For district libraries, Freegal is still a pretty new service and I notice many patrons are unaware they now have access to it. Recent upgrades also make Freegal an even better resource to highlight in any patron interaction. Mentioning that Freegal requires no software to download and no wait periods is a big plus for patrons, as well. Especially as new CDs in the physical collection often have long hold lists.

Navigation is available in standard English, as well as Spanish, French, and Italian. These options are available at the bottom of the page.

Searching has been made easier, as well. In one search query, an artist and song title can be combined so users can get to content faster.

The home page also highlights popular artists graphically with headshots displayed under the week’s top albums and singles.

There’s also a nice feature that shows our system’s top 10 and the top 10 across the United States. You can find these lists linked under Most Popular at the top of the page.

Also, be sure to check out the Genres page linked from the top of the screen. This really shows how wide-ranging Freegal’s offerings are: from Barbra Streisand to Arabic pop, there are music more than 100 countries represented!

Jeff (South Park)

Continue ReadingPlaylists made simple…